Residents seek ban on parking near Ludlowe High
FAIRFIELD — Ludlowe students forgoing a parking pass and leaving their cars in surrounding residential neighborhoods now could be towed.
“They park on both sides of the road, there’s elderly people who might need assistance obviously with ambulance and fire and there’s no way that any vehicle of that nature could ever pass,” said Charles Case, president of the Mill Plain Improvement Society, told the commission at its April 11 meeting.
Case said he had been notified by area residents of students parking on both sides of the street, loitering near the cars after school hours, walking through private lawns and blocking driveways.
The Police Commission unanimously approved the installation of signs on Old Mill Road, between Mill Plain Road and Unquowa Road, and Sycamore Lane, between Mill Plain Road and Unquowa Road, that read “No Parking 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tow Away Zone Monday through Friday.” The signs will apply from Aug. 25 through June 30, to deter Fairfield Ludlowe High School students who have been parking on the narrow suburban streets around the school.
According to Case and other neighbors who spoke at the meeting in favor of restricting parking, the problem is worst during the second half of the year, by which time underclassmen have turned 16 and gotten their licenses. The students either prefer not to pay the $150 for a parking pass, or have learned of the cheaper alternative, and are not parking in the school.
Neighbors added that, while some overflow parking has always made its way to surrounding streets, the problem has gotten especially bad in the past two years, though they didn’t know why.
“My gut feeling on it is kids just don’t want to spend the money on it,” said Chief of Police Gary MacNamara.
One neighbor, John Santini, of 545 Mill Plain Rd., told the commission that there’s a group of roughly 10 students to whom he waves from his kitchen every morning as they pass through his yard. Another said he was concerned about the “visual clutter” that too many parked cars bring.
“I don’t want it to look like Brooklyn on Old Mill and Sycamore Lane,” said Nick Mirabile, of Sycamore Lane.
Neighbors also wanted to ensure that parking restrictions were limited to school hours and weekdays, so as not to prevent service vehicles, like landscapers, and company visiting area residents from parking on the street.
In addition, the commission approved “No Parking Anytime” signs on Mill Plain Green, between Mill Plain Road and Sturges Road, Sturges Road, between Mill Plain Road and Unquowa Road, and Unquowa Road, between Sturges Road and Mill Plain Road.
Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones and Ludlowe Headmaster Greg Hatzis were not present at the meeting -- the schools are out of April break -- and did not respond to an emailed request for comment on the new signage.
Police estimate that the signs will be in place in three weeks.
“It’s just a high amount of kids coming through,” Santini said.
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